Grade 8 English Language Arts (ELA)

Course Description
The North Kitsap School District has adopted the Engage New York curriculum for the middle schools; it is comprised of four eight week modules containing literature, supplemental readings, lesson plans, including formative and summative assessments.  Grade 8 English Language Arts (ELA) is designed to continue to encourage student growth in the areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking, discussion, and reflection. Reading strategies, critical thinking skills, and vocabulary are based on the grade level Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in reading instruction. Writing instruction includes narrative, expository/informational, and argumentative also based on grade level CCSS.  We will be teaching the following two of the four modules:  Module 1 Finding Home:  Refugees and Module 4 Sustainability of the US Food Supply Chain.  Below is an estimated time frame of topics of study this year and curriculum and pacing is subject to change.

Term 1 September-November (Narrative Writing)
Module 1 Finding Home:  Refugees
  Unit 1:  War Coming Close to Home
  Unit 2:  Why do people flee home?
  Unit 3:  Culminating Project (Free Verse Narrative Poems)

Term 2 November-January 
Expository Writing Unit
Literary Analysis Unit

Term 3 February-April (Argumentative Writing)
Module 4  Sustainability of the US Food Supply Chain
Literature Analysis Unit

Term 4 April-June  
Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA state testing)
Comedy Unit

Text Sources
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
The Language of Literature McDougal Litell
Writer’s INC. 
Supplementary literature and nonfiction texts

Required Materials
-planner to record information daily regarding all classes (provided by PTA)
-#2 pencils
-highlighter
-looseleaf paper (college or wide ruled)
-composition or spiral notebook
-binder with tab dividers to hold all materials
-pencil pouch

The ART of being a CAV!!
We create a productive learning environment by living up to our school wide expectations!  Our classroom looks like:

A = Ambitious 
* Enter class appropriately and with a positive attitude 
* Engage in all aspects of the learning
R = Responsible
* Have all necessary and required materials ready by the bell
* Complete planner daily and use time wisely
T = Thoughtful
* Attentively listen and raise hand during instruction and discussion
* Take care of each other and the classroom

Attendance 
Students must be seated in their assigned seats before the bell rings.  If tardy, enter class quietly and bring me a pass; students who enter without a pass will be marked as unexcused tardy on Skyward.

Assignment Procedure and Homework
When possible, please inform me in advance of prearranged absences that have been approved through our Attendance office.  Students who return from being absent can get their assignments from their class Absent Folder posted in our room.  Eighth graders will have a minimum of 30 minutes of homework each night.  Establish a routine that works for you to "pay yourself" so you can manage your academic responsibilities.  Language Arts homework will typically include light reading, short written responses or both.  Most of the assignments are completed in class; if a student needs additional time to complete an assignment, it becomes homework, and is due the next day.  Any time a student is issued either a CORE or LUNCH pass to make up work and does not show up, that opportunity to make up the assignment is no longer an option.
  
Grading
Coursework is posted on Skyward as either ASSIGNMENT or TEST; grades are not weighted and students earn points.  Assignments are comprised of frequent reading, writing and analysis activities when students will be provided specific feedback to help enhance their learning.  They are completed during class; if a student needs additional time, it becomes homework and is due the next day.  Late work is only acceptable when a student is absent and students will be informed when the missing work is due.Some tests can be revised and students who choose to revise must submit their revisions within a week the original was returned. Once a Term is over, work is no longer accepted for that term.

Portfolios
Each student has a portfolio kept in the classroom that will contain all completed unit work throughout the school year in addition to their STAR reading test results; students are welcome to save other documents such as awards as well.  It is a snapshot of growth throughout the year and during Spring Student Led Conferences (SLC) students will share some evidence of their learning.  At the end of the year students will take them home. 

I look forward to another year of learning and helping prepare you for success in high school and beyond!

Mrs. Barnett, M Ed
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